Six empty drums of the banned insecticide chlordane were found during grading for the Comstock Homes project on Ellwood Mesa; the soil beneath one of the drums contained amounts well in excess of Environmental Protection Agency residential standards. Chlordane, which was formerly used to eliminate termites, was outlawed in 1988 after it was shown to damage several organ systems. The drums – some lidless and rusted – may have been there for the past 30 years, according to city officials. Although the drums were found in December, City Council received a report on them just last week. Tests since the city excavated 75 square feet of soil have found only trace amounts of the pesticide.

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